Deadpool is a third person action game by High Moon Studios (most known for their Transformers games). The game features lovable (?) protagonist Deadpool, famed for his mental instability and constant breaking of the 4th wall, as such, the game plays out pretty much exactly as you would expect.
The game’s story is somewhat bizarre, a confusing mix of deadpool himself knowing he is producing a video game and the story in that video game being about Sinister creating clones of himself to take over the world (or something to that effect? I think?). The game plot, like the gameplay itself, isn’t really the strong point of Deadpool, with most of it being forgettable or plain nonsensical.
A few characters are introduced throughout the game, and then completely ignored or unreferenced aside from 1 or 2 lines of dialogue or a cutscene, wolverine for example is present in 4 cutscenes, says about 2 lines of dialogue, and then… that’s it, you never see him fight, you never even interact with him aside from one scene where you slap him a few times.
Gameplay itself is a mixed bag, it is a linear third person action game interspersed with cutscenes and set pieces, the combat (which comprises 80% of the game, with the other 20% being platforming) is split between melee and 3PS, with the melee combat being somewhat similar to that found in the Batman Arkham Asylum series of games (only less satisfying and not as deep) and the third person shooting resembling Max Payne 1 (note that I didn’t say Max Payne 3, because that would suggest the shooting is actually refined).
The combat ramps itself up gradually as you progress through the game thanks to the weapons/upgrade system, like many other games nowadays, killing enemies rewards you with points, which can be used to purchase upgrades. Upgrades in deadpool come in the form of more damage, faster rate of fire, special moves and special effects (bleeds/onhit effects) , you’ll be thankful these exist because without them, the game would be pretty slow and boring (particularly the guns, which fire way too slow without the upgrades). Once you have deadpool suitably kitted out, the combat does get a little more entertaining, with the ability to do gunkata, breakdance and rapid fire your guns.
Graphically Deadpool looks good enough, you won’t be mistaking it for next-gen though, even after putting it on ‘extra’ graphical detail on the PC version (which makes me worry for those playing on consoles).
To its credit, there are some neat graphical effects which are used during the game, and a few little events where the camera does some neat things I haven’t really seen before (I don’t want to spoil it so i’ll just leave it at that).
Music in the game was… once again, I find myself wondering if there even was music during the game.
I think I recall some guitarish tracks playing during fights, but it was nothing particularly special or worth looking up.
The writing and humour is where Deadpool is able to win back some points, the cutscenes and down moments between encounters are well done and filled with Deadpool personality and jokes, and then there is the constant dialogue playing with Deadpool and his inner personalities which is entertaining without being excessive to the point of annoyance.
It seems a rare occurrence that a video game actually makes me fully laugh out loud, but Deadpool managed to achieve this multiple times.
For a change in these reviews, I get to write almost a whole paragraph on things this game provides which aren’t prevalent in many other games. One of the things which stuck out as being really clever was when wolverine was introduced and a big prompt came up to essentially refresh my memory on who it is, hitting space brought up a quick narrated montage of that character’s backstory and relationship with Deadpool being jumping back to the start of the cutscene. I thought this backstory montage was a genius way to fill players in on knowledge that only series fans would otherwise know (I for example, have never even heard of ‘Lady Death’). Another thing Deadpool does well is attempt to introduce a bit of variety, granted it only happens on occasion, but there were a few short segments where the gameplay style changed dramatically (for example, into a sidescrolling sequence), it’s nice to have little bits like that to break up the linear shoot everything in sight mentality that is the entire game.
Last but not least, we get to the part filled with all the things Deadpool does wrong (that I haven’t already mentioned), though to my surprise the list is shorter than I expected.
– The camera can be pretty bad, gets stuck in zoomed mode when you are using your ranged weapons (meaning you have to swing your sword to get out of ranged mode everytime you leave combat)
– Guns shoot too slow by default
– Cutscenes are unskippable, and replay if you die after a big encounter
– The PC controls by default, are HORRIFIC. I get that you guys optimise for consoles, but B to dodge? U to reload? N/M/J to change weapons? what the fuck were you thinking.
– Certain encounters are frustrating (particularly if, for whatever reason you do not have any ammo)
– The game itself is a little on the short side
– The environments are really dull, which is odd because it feels like they picked the most boring environments to go with their batshit insane plot, like they could have put Deadpool on Mars for a part of the game and it wouldn’t have seemed too out of place, but they go with a Sewer, an underground lab, an office building… etc.
– Certain platforming segments are frustrating
Deadpool proves that good writing and comedy can only carry a game so much, Whilst I probably did enjoy the game as a whole, there were segments where I was definitely just grinding through to get to the next event. Deadpool definitely doesn’t do anything awful, but other than the humour (which really does carry the game as a whole) the game doesn’t do a whole lot well either.
Approximate Game Length : About 7 Hours (medium difficulty – which felt about right)
Actual Worth / Steam Price: £10/ £30 = 0.33
Should you play it : Yes, but not at that price. It really is a funny game, and there are a lot of interesting things it does (from a gameplay perspective) which will catch you off guard and make you smile, especially if you are used to standard third person shooters.